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Bruce Arians stepping down as Buccaneers head coach just two weeks after Tom Brady’s comeback

Related: Tom Brady announces comeback just 6 weeks after retirement

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Football Team Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In over two decades in the NFL, Tom Brady has played for only two head coaches: Bill Belichick with the New England Patriots, and Bruce Arians after joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020.

Now, that number will jump to three.

On Wednesday night, Arians announced his decision to retire from coaching and transition into a front office role with the Buccaneers. In his place, defensive coordinator and former New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles will take over.

“Tom’s decision to come back, along with Jason and his staff doing another great job of keeping the core of this team intact during free agency, confirmed for me that it was the right time to pass the torch to Todd,” Arians wrote in a statement about his decision to step down.

Arians’ decision has been weeks in the making, according to reports, but the eventual timing of the announcement is still noteworthy given that it is coming amidst speculation about an alleged rift between himself and Brady. The Buccaneers, according to the Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud, insist that Arians stepping down and Brady returning from his 40-day retirement earlier this offseason are not related to one another.

Arians himself admitted butting heads with players, but not that those conflicts lead to him stepping down.

“Tom was very in favor of what I’m doing,” Arians himself said in a joint interview with NBC Sports and the Los Angeles Times. “I mean, I had conflicts with every player I coached because I cussed them all out, including him. Great relationship off the field.”

Whatever the reasons behind Arians’ transition to a different role, the Buccaneers are now the 10th team in the league changing head coaches this offseason. As opposed to the other nine, however, they did not conduct a long search for the new guy.